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Banquet speakers

Rajeev Rastogi

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Title: Building knowledge bases from the web

Abstract: The web is a vast repository of human knowledge. Extracting structured data from web pages can enable applications like comparison shopping, and lead to improved ranking and rendering of search results. In this talk, I will describe two efforts at Yahoo! Labs to extract records from pages at web scale. The first is a wrapper induction system that handles end-to-end extraction tasks from clustering web pages to learning XPath extraction rules to relearning rules when sites change. The system has been deployed in production within Yahoo! to extract more than 200 million records from ~200 web sites. The second effort exploits content redundancy on the web to automatically extract records without human supervision. Starting with a seed database, we determine values in the pages of each new site that match attribute values in the seed records. We devise a new notion of similarity for matching templatized attribute content, and an apriori style algorithm that exploits templatized page structure to prune spurious attribute matches.

Rajeev Rastogi is the Vice President of Yahoo! Labs Bangalore where he directs basic and applied research in the areas of Web search, advertizing, and cloud computing.

Previously Rajeev was a Bell Labs Fellow and the founding Director of the Bell Labs Research Center in Bangalore, India. Rajeev worked at Bell Labs from 1993 until 2008. During the period, he led a number of research projects that were incorporated into Lucent products and services. Rajeev is active in the fields of databases, data mining, and networking, and has served on the program committees of several conferences in these areas. He currently serves on the editorial board of the CACM, and has been an Associate editor for IEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering in the past. He has published over 125 papers, and filed over 70 patents of which 40 have been issued. Rajeev received his B. Tech degree from IIT Bombay, and a PhD degree in Computer Science from the University of Texas, Austin.

Link to speaker's homepage.



Venkat Rajendran

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Title: IPR driven entrepreneurship in India - challenges and opportunities

Abstract: In the Silicon valley, technology start ups emerge with lightning speed, some of them scaling up really big and build huge wealth. And in many such ventures, you will generally find one or two Indians as co-founders or part of the core team. On the contrary, back in India, while large IT outsourcing companies have successfully emerged, we have not seen comparable stories in IPR based technology ventures. What prevents tech startups from succeeding and scaling up? What can possibly be done to help build scalable technology companies in India? With the GDP moving at good pace, there are huge opportunities emerging. The eco system to nurture scalable tech ventures takes time to evolve; but there are many favorable factors slowly falling in place. Some concerted strategic action could accelerate this process.


Venkat Rajendran is an engineer, entrepreneur and investor. In a career spanning more than 30 years, he has played significant roles in technology development in India, founded a start up venture, grew and successfully exited and continues to found new start up ventures. He currently manages his new ventures and investments through Billionways Holdings Pvt Ltd. Billionways portfolio of ventures include diverse areas like Technology, Hospitality and Fashion.

Before founding Billionways, Mr. Rajendran was a Vice President in Flextronics Design, the $ 20 Billion fortune 500 company from US until late 2005. Prior to that, Mr. Rajendran co-founded Deccanet Designs Ltd, a mid sized Telecom technology venture in Bangalore which was acquired by Flextronics International in early 2004. Prior to Deccanet, Mr. Rajendran was associated in various capacities with leading Telecom R &D establishments in India. He was the head of software design at C-DOT (The Center for Development of Telematics), the prestigious Telecom R&D organization set up by the Govt. of India. He was responsible for building Fault Tolerance systems making C-DOT'sfamily of central office switches carrier class systems. Before C-DOT, Mr. Rajendran was a Deputy Director in Telecom Research Center working on Telecom switching system design and also in Indian DRDO labs in designing Digital Signal Processing systems. His other interests include rural education in India. He has been involved in a number of non-profit initiatives in this area.

Link to speaker's homepage.



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